Times Law 100: It’s Oxbridge-Educated White Men And Shami Chakrabarti, Again!

By on

Another year, another list of the UK’s top 100 lawyers by The Times.

And once again, the list – released today (£) – is dominated by old, white, Oxbridge-educated men.

In the top ten, there is just one woman (Baroness Hale of Richmond) and only one lawyer who is non-Oxbridge (Keir Starmer QC). Nine of the ten are barristers.

Meanwhile, in the City top ten, not a single woman, or non-white person, featured. All but three had been to Oxbridge.

Outside the top slots, the importance of a place in Times law editor Frances Gibb’s contact book was underlined with the selection of rent-a-quotes like Legal Cheek Twitter fave John Cooper QC, College of Law boss Nigel Savage and, of course, Shami Chakrabarti (one of just 15 women in the list).

Token lefty new blood was provided in the form of Bindmans pair Saimo Chahal and Mike Schwarz, and LSE human rights professor Conor Gearty…

The Times Top 10

10. Lord Pannick QC

9. David Morley

8. Baroness Hale of Richmond

7. Keir Starmer QC

6. Sir Nicolas Bratza

5. Lord Justice Leveson

4. Kenneth Clarke

3. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers

2. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

1. Lord Judge

Full the full list, you need to buy a subscription to The Times


I say it with love

and this is why I don’t pay for the Times.

At least Chambers Directory does some footwork to identify talent at the grassroots level.


Howard Norris

The list reads more like a compendium of gambling addicts than fancy lawyers:



Hi Alex, I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does. Thank you for this excellent piece and though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I value the viewpoint.



Keir Starmer did eventually go to Oxford to complete a BCL. Oxbridge is (statistically) a must if you require a seamless, hassle-free ascent in any profession.


Niteowl Attorney

And there you have it. In relative terms, Mr Starmer is a pygmy in a world of giants. While he is considered to be “top of the tree” in your culture, enough for you to make him a benchmark in your example, in any normal society an experienced lawyer at a private firm would be regarded as more senior. If you did want to look at the head prosecutors, then compare Mr Starmer with Bob Morganthau (DA, Manhattan 1973-2011), who took on the five families and who is still working in the city, now as a defense counsel and who is in his mid 90s. Bob was a destroyer exec officer in WWII – one destroyer was hit by a kamikaze and another was cleaved in two by an enemy cruiser, from memory. But you keep speaking about your Sacred Cows and their Degrees from your Oxbridge as if they are “something of an achievement”.




Why not publish the whole list or at least feature Highlights of Legal Cheek Favourites?


Comments are closed.